The (young) love school was initiated and run by experienced ZEGG (Center for Experimental Community Design) residents. The Young Love School consists of 4 modules, 5 days each with about 30 young adults and 5 seminar leaders.
Central concerns of the love school are the topics of relationship, partnership, love and sexuality. The second module was about feelings, needs and communication in relationships. Martin was there and experienced the exciting seminar:
The journey was exhausting – I was exhausted. Because of a fire, the railway line was temporarily closed. Consequently, it took a while for me to really arrive at the venue.
For me personally, already on the first day it became very intense. Very tired early on, as I had hardly slept, I came more and more into my power during the day. Asked by a seminar leader, I was allowed to hold a “rage room”, as well as a corresponding exercise for all participants. The room was exciting and the energy very high. Never before had I taught a rage exercise for so many people at the same time. The feedback from the participants, regarding my work, after a loud and liberating hour of “rage” was clear: Responsible rage makes me sexy and they saw me in full presence.
The next morning, after an input series with methods of relationship dynamics, we did an exercise to give each other feedback. What do we see, about what works, what does not work?
I received a very similar feedback countless times, which confirmed my observation: I often find it hard to be present with my strenght especially in groups, but the rage room the previous evening showed the opposite. It showed how much I am and how much I can help others. I was very moved and a strong sadness rose in me.
Next, a Forum was announced and I decided to go in the middle, because that’s what it was about for me to do: show myself in the group and be present with my abilities.
The Forum is a circle method in which a person walks in the middle to work on a topic that moves him / her and to make it present in the group. The Forum consists of a leadership that supports the person in the middle, as well as a circle of participants who pay their attention to the person in the middle and give him / her a mirror after his / her appearance.
After I described my topic in the middle of the Forum, I could relieve emotions. I felt changed. I wanted to say calmly and emotionally that I show myself in the group now with my skills, and that my softness and calm are powers that support me in doing so. Just then an incredible summer storm started. The rain pounded on the roofs of the barn we were in. So I screamed with full force, “With my softness and calm I give my strength and abilities into the community!”
Then the rain became stronger and everyone in the room fell silent. Except for the sounds of the storm, an energetic silence spread in the room until one of the seminar leaders said: “Ok, 3 minutes. A break to…”. Even before he could finish speaking, everyone stood up screaming, tore off their clothes and ran out into the warm summer storm. That was the best mirror I could get.
The next days, the young love school continued to be very moving.
I got involved, was seen in the group and recognized with my skills. The other participants gave me a lot of confidence and asked for advice. So I could support others from the group and also hold rooms for them.
When I accompanied two young men from the love school with their topics, I realized what a development I had gone through in recent years. I realized how important it is to be able to cry as a man. I just uttered those thoughts, which again provoked pleasant reactions of the other two men.
Determined, they set themselves the task of learning to cry again. It is so liberating and healing. One sentence came to me that has kept me busy ever since: Men, our tears are important and wholesome, not just for each one of us, but more for our earth and the whole of society!